The U.K. has finally released the long-threatened Chilcot report, the results of a lengthy investigation into decision-making blunders in the build-up to the murderous invasion of Iraq. The report excoriates Prime Minister Tony Blair for his blind faith in George W. Bush’s criminally negligent miscalculations and lies concerning WMD’s, and Iraq’s role in global terrorism, and demonstrates how both Blair and Bush ignored vital information about the likely disastrous consequences of such a folly.
The report is quite a bombshell in England, even 13 years after the war commenced. The foppish Blair was forced again into his best Hugh Grant impression before the press cameras to stammer his way through the standard I-was-acting-on-the-best-available-information excuse ( the same excuse Hillary Clinton uses when questioned about her affirmative Iraq invasion Senate vote). Family members of dead British soldiers are demanding that Blair be put on trial for war crimes, and there are MP’s who now agree that there are grounds for such a prosecution.
The response to the Chilcot report on this side of the pond has been a bit more muted, largely because we are in the throes of a full-blown swoon over Clinton’s email server. The Bush administration’s response was predictable:
“Despite the intelligence failures and other mistakes he has acknowledged previously, President Bush continues to believe the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power,” Bush’s spokesman Freddy Ford said in a statement.
“He is deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of American and coalition forces in the war on terror. And there was no stronger ally than the United Kingdom under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair.”
The little chimp couldn’t even bring himself to make a direct statement.
But despite the distractions of our clown show presidential race, and our national obsession over Email-gate, the timing of the release of this report is the perfect reminder of exactly who is to blame for creating the turmoil and the power vacuum that has led to the rise of groups like ISIS. This is important because of a recent statement from the cranky John McCain that Barrack Obama’s Middle East policies are to blame for ISIS, a slander that was immediately reiterated by Donald Trump, and then parroted by the jack-offs at Fox News and the right wing echo chamber.
It is, of course, a convenient bald-faced lie that a chicken hawk like Trump can hide behind to burnish his tough-guy credentials, the insinuation being that Clinton’s policies would merely mimic those of Obama.
Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is dealing more directly with reality. In the wake of the Chilcot report, he stated publicly that the invasion of Iraq led directly to the rise of ISIS, contradicting the popular bullshit notion that the Syrian civil war led to the groups creation.
Tony Blair and England were certainly duplicitous in aiding and abetting the Bush/Cheney war crimes. But now, at least, Britain is owning up to its failures. One day, maybe, the United States will reach that same level of national maturity and be honest with itself, but, if this presidential race is any indication, it’s not likely to be any time soon.